Thursday, March 9, 2017

Advocare 24 Day Challenge - Super Honest Review


So I am completely done with my Advocare 24 Day Challenge and as promised - here is my FULL review. Let's start with my before and after results, because who doesn't love those? (okay, me.... I hate my before pictures but I'll get over it for the sake of this review)

BEFORE
AFTER

Measurements: (Before > After)
Chest: 34in > 32in
Waist: 28in > 25 1/2in
Hips: 36in > 34in
Thigh: 22in > 21in
Weight: 149 > 138 

In total, I've lost 11 pounds and about 8 inches! Not only did I lose that, but I started gaining my self confidence back! I can fit into my old jeans again finally (even if I did just buy the next size up a few months ago *insert eye roll*) I'd like to note that I didn't change my eating habits (I've been eating clean for a while now), but I did change up my exercise routine. Instead of vigorous exercising 5-6x a week, I tuned it down to 3-4x a week and only one or two short cardio sessions. Who would have thought that exercising less would yield more results???

Now for a more in-depth look at the past month (two phases: cleanse and max):

First 10 days (cleanse phase): This was my favorite part of the challenge if we're being honest. The products used these ten days were as follows - Spark, herbal cleanse pills, fiber packets, and OmegaPlex. If you learn anything at all from this entire review, it's that the fiber packets are absolutely disgusting and taste like sludge on their own...... (but mix with 8oz. of orange juice and you cannot taste a thing!) oh, yeah and be near a bathroom within thirty minutes of drinking it... 'nough said. I made the mistake of drinking it before my commute to my school campus and I regretted my decision. MOVING ON. If you're like me and hate coffee, but looking for an alternative that will help you stay awake all day, Spark will quickly become one of your favorite products. I'm not going to lie, I just ordered two tubs of it. That mix makes me feel like I can move a mountain.... or five.

Last 14 days (max phase, or pill phase honestly): Y'all, I almost quit at least 5 times because of how many pills it wanted me to take. Here's everything involved - Spark, MNS3, Meal Replacement shakes, Catalyst, Thermoplus, and OmegaPlex. The MNS3 pills contained close to 200 pills to be taken over 14 days. 200!!!!!! That's absolutely insane and many times the pills made me so nauseous I couldn't eat - so I ditched the pills. I'd rather be overweight than wanting to throw up all day. **NOTE: This is not typical for others that I've talked to who have done the challenge, I just think they were maybe interacting weird with my daily medication I'm on for my hypothyroidism** The meal replacement shakes were decent, definitely filling - I could never finish my entire shake. As for the Catalyst and Thermoplus - those pills became my new best friend. Catalyst aids in maintaining your muscle mass during your weight loss and Thermoplus promotes your metabolism. These two things paired together did something that a clean diet/exercise alone could never do for me - helped me really lose the weight and tone up like I've been trying so hard to do for so long. 

I loved these products so much that I decided to become a distributor - not to become like one of those annoying It Works distributors and harass all of my Facebook friends, but to really fall in love with the process of becoming the best version of myself and get great discounts while doing it ;) However, if you are interested in trying some of the products yourself, click here or shoot me an email and let's talk about what your goals are. 

Hope you enjoyed this review!


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Advocare 24 Day Challenge - BOX RECEIVED


Hey guys!! I know I have been AWOL since August, but in my defense, school started back and Fall semester was no joke. All of my free time was spent studying and to my own surprise, I even made DEAN'S LIST.

So it's obvious that I'm making some serious changes in my life - my college degree, moving to a different city, to now focusing on my health. For the past few months now I've completely changed my eating habits and have focused on working out to be a healthier version of myself. At the beginning of January, I kicked it into high gear and started to ~seriously~ start weight lifting and not focus so much on the cardio side of things.

A lot of the health changes started when I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and Hashimoto's Disease. This means my body doesn't produce the right amount of thyroid hormone, AKA my body's metabolism is slow as molasses and I have to work 10x as hard as "normal" people to produce the same results. Weight loss has been slow for me, but I am definitely noticing changes in my physique even if it's not much.

That is what brought me to the decision of doing the AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge! My mom did it a couple years back and looked fantastic afterwards!! She's done it a couple times since then to maintain and her results were enough to convince me. As a student though, the price of AdvoCare turned me off to the whole idea. Well, I've been going through my weight loss "journey" the old-fashioned way and I'm not seeing the results I want, so why not? I figured there's no better investment than yourself so here I am!

Upon opening the box I received:
1 box of Herbal Cleanse
1 Box of AdvoCare Fiber
Three boxes of spark (1 extra for free!)
1 Box of MNS 3
1 Box of Peanut Butter-Chocolate Meal Replacement Shakes
1 Bottle of OmegaPlex
1 Bottle of Catalyst (extra that I purchased)
1 Bottle of ThermoPlus (extra that I purchased)
1 BlenderBottle
1 Pack of Meal Containers
1 Measuring Tape
A complete guide for the 24 Days

So tomorrow I will be taking my "before" pictures and measurements to compare to my "after" pictures and measurements at the end of the challenge! I will be periodically posting updates throughout the entire challenge to keep y'all posted and so I can look back and see results!



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Saturday, August 13, 2016

Let's Talk Healthy: Chicken Tortilla Soup


Chicken Tortilla Soup is one of my favorite soups, especially for those rainy summer days. I'm going to give you everything you need for this to become one of your favorite soups too!

Total time: 30 minutes
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes

What you'll need: 
4 Chicken breasts
3 Cups of chicken stock
2 Containers of bacon pieces 
Frozen bag of onions
Frozen bag of carrots
Fire roasted salsa
Hot sauce

Optional:
1 Lime
1 Avocado 
Mozzarella shredded cheese
Tostitos Hint of Lime chips

**Note: chicken stock is different from chicken broth, it contains more flavor due to what it is made from. 

Directions:

  • First you will need to bring the 3 cups of chicken stock to a boil.
  • Add in your chicken. 
  • As your chicken is boiling, add about a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil in a pan and add your bacon pieces and about half the bag of frozen onions. 
  • Stir until onions have browned. 
  • In another pot you will bring your fire roasted salsa, a couple dashes of hot sauce and your bag of frozen carrots together to a boil. You can keep this boiling until you have shredded your chicken. 
  • DO NOT toss the chicken stock. 
  • Add your shredded chicken, bacon and onions to the pot with the fire roasted salsa and carrots. 
  • Once you have added all the ingredients together, grab a strainer and strain the chicken stock to the rest of the soup and stir it all together. 
As for the lime, avocado, cheese and chips: you can use these items as toppings. Cut the limes into wedges and squeeze the lime juice into the soup. Then add a few avocado slices, chips, some cheese and enjoy.   



Thursday, August 4, 2016

Let's Talk Healthy: Honey Mustard Chicken


This honey-mustard chicken is a serious game changer. It's a sweet savory meal that you can't beat. My personal favorite part of this meal is the spices. If you're like me and work multiple jobs along with being a full time student: you don't have much time on your hands and meal prepping is key to staying on track. I know eating the same bland chicken can get boring week after week, so my tip would be to invest in a couple of different seasonings and spices and mix it up so you never get bored.

Total time: 3 hours
Prep time: 2.5 hours
Cook time: 40 minutes

What you'll need:
1. 1/2 cup Honey
2. 1/2 cup Mustard 
3. 1 teaspoon Paprika 
4. salt/pepper
5. Italian seasoning 
6. 5 chicken breast
7. Frozen bag of mix vegetables

  • Combine the following in a separate bowl:

-1/2 cup of honey
-1/2 cup of mustard 
-1/2 teaspoon of salt
-1/2 teaspoon of pepper-
-1/2 teaspoon ofItalian seasoning
-1 teaspoon of paprika

  •  Add the chicken to the bowl and let it marinate for as long as you would like (or you dont have to let it marinate at all, but it's my preference to do so). If you choose to marinate it, let it sit for about 2 hours. 
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Place the chicken in an oven safe dish, cook for 40 minutes. 
  • In the last 10 minutes of the chicken cooking, throw your frozen vegetables into the microwave and combine the two and enjoy this delicious meal. 


What kind of foods would you like to see me make? Email your ideas to me at mikaylamariemeals@gmail.com!



Wednesday, August 3, 2016

What does my semicolon tattoo mean?


These semicolon tattoos have been showing up everywhere...

Unlike other trends, these tattoos have meaning, and a pretty big one at that. It's understandable if you haven't noticed them. Many people get them in small, inconspicuous places. This tattoo is not meant to be flashy, it's more of a personal meaning kind-of-deal.

No, it's not just a punctuation mark for grammar nerds, but its origin does go back to what the semicolon means in a sentence.

sem·i·co·lon (noun) a punctuation mark (;) indicating a pause, typically between two main clauses, that is more pronounced than that indicated by a comma.

In Project Semicolon, a movement founded in 2013, they described their reasoning for choosing the semicolon:

"A semicolon is used when an author could've chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life."

PROJECT SEMICOLON IS A GLOBAL NON-PROFIT MOVEMENT DEDICATED TO PRESENTING HOPE AND LOVE FOR THOSE WHO ARE STRUGGLING WITH MENTAL ILLNESS, SUICIDE, ADDICTION AND SELF-INJURY. PROJECT SEMICOLON EXISTS TO ENCOURAGE, LOVE AND INSPIRE. 


Photo by NAMI
43.8 MILLION adults experience mental illness.... but there is still a negative stigma surrounding it, preventing many people from getting help or speaking out about it. (Click here to read Katelyn's story about finally speaking up)

The more people talk about it, the more people will realize that it's a common occurrence and not something to be ashamed about. I've realized that people LOVE talking to people about their tattoos and finding out what they stand for.... which means on an almost daily basis I get to tell people about the things that I've gone through and why I've become a stronger individual because of it.

To read more about others stories and how they overcame their struggles, click here.

Want to submit your story and have it featured on this blog? We'd love to hear about it! Shoot me an email to ashleyinthemountains@gmail.com. Don't want to be featured on the blog, but want someone to talk to? Head over to the contact page and find out ways to get in touch with me!